Biography of Robert Falcon Scott

Robert Falcon Scott

Robert Falcon Scott was a twentieth century explorer famous for dying on his way back from the South Pole. Popularly often known as Scott of the Antarctic.

When and Where was he Born?

6th June 1868, Outlands near Stoke Damerel, Devenport, Devon, England.

Family Background:

Robert Falcon Scott was the son of John and Hannah Scott.

Education:

Local School. Joined the Royal Navy when he was thirteen in 1881.

Timeline of Robert Falcon Scott:

1881: Scott joins the Naval ship H.M.S. Boadicea as a Midshipman and is transferred to other ships over the years to complete his training.

1886: As a Midshipman aboard H.M.S Rover he takes part in a race between four English cutters in St. Kitts in the West Indies. Scott’s boat won and he was invited aboard H.M.S. Active to dine with the Commodore. Present at this dinner was the cousin of the Commodore, Clements Markham who was so impressed with Scott that he wrote about him that he was “the destined man to command the Antarctic expedition.” Scott continued serving in ships of the the Royal Navy until 1901.

1901: Scott commands the National Antarctic Expedition ship “Discovery” which explores the Ross Sea area and King Edward Seventh Land and he ventures further south than any other ship thus far.

1904: He is promoted to Captain. He moves with his mother and two sisters to a house at 56 Oakley Street, Chelsea.

Scott's House
House at 56 Oakley Street, Chelsea, London
 where Scott lived for four years with his mother and sisters. (copyright Anthony Blagg)

1908: He marries Kathleen Bruce, a sculptor on 2nd September.

1910: He embarks on his second Antarctic expedition, this time in the ship “Terra Nova” with the intention of reaching the South Pole.

1912: After much bad luck on the voyage southwards his sledge party consisting of himself, Edward Wilson, Lawrence Oates, H.R. Bowers and Edgar Evans set out across the snow and ice. They finally reach the Pole on the 18th January 1912 but found that they had been beaten there by one month by the Norwegian expedition led by Roald Amundsen. Disappointed they turn back but face severe blizzards and the illness of Evans and Oates who both died en route. Finally the remaining members of the team including Scott perish near the One Ton Depot in March, all succumbing to starvation and severe cold. Their bodies and significant diaries were found by a search party eight months later. Scott was Knighted posthumously because of his bravery and the Scott Polar Research Institute was established at Cambridge in his memory. Despite their failure to arrive at the South Pole first many important scientific findings had been made during the expeditions.

When and Where did he Die?

29th March 1912, Antarctica of cold and starvation.

Age at Death:

43.

Statue of Robert Falcon Scott of the Antarctic
Statue of Robert Falcon Scott funded by fellow Naval Members,
Waterloo Place, London (copyright Anthony Blagg)

Marriage:

2nd September 1908 to Kathleen Bruce, a sculptor.

Site of Grave:

Body frozen near South Pole.

Places of Interest:

CAMBRIDGESHIRE:

Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge.

LONDON:

56 Oakley Street, Chelsea.
80 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea where he planned many of his expeditions.

SCOTLAND:

RSS Discovery, Discovery Quay, Dundee.

WALES:

Monument in Cardiff Bay.

Robert Falcon Scott monument
Monument to Scott near the site in Cardiff Docks from whence he sailed to the Antarctic (copyright Anthony Blagg)